Seeds of Change: Corn Seed Mixtures for Resistance Management and Integrated Pest Management

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2011-04-01
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Onstad, David
Mitchell, Paul
Hurley, Terrance
Lundgren, Jonathan
Porter, R. Patrick
Krupke, Christian
Spencer, Joseph
Difonzo, Christine
Baute, Tracey
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Hellmich, Richard
Emeritus USDA-ARS Research Entomologist Emeritus Affiliate Professor
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Entomology

The Department of Entomology seeks to teach the study of insects, their life-cycles, and the practicalities in dealing with them, for use in the fields of business, industry, education, and public health. The study of entomology can be applied towards evolution and ecological sciences, and insects’ relationships with other organisms & humans, or towards an agricultural or horticultural focus, focusing more on pest-control and management.

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The Department of Entomology was founded in 1975 as a result of the division of the Department of Zoology and Entomology.

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Abstract

The use of mixtures of transgenic insecticidal seed and nontransgenic seed to provide an in-field refuge for susceptible insects in insect-resistance-management (IRM) plans has been considered for at least two decades. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has only recently authorized the practice. This commentary explores issues that regulators, industry, and other stakeholders should consider as the use of biotechnology increases and seed mixtures are implemented as a major tactic for IRM. We discuss how block refuges and seed mixtures in transgenic insecticidal corn, Zea mays L., production will influence integrated pest management (IPM) and the evolution of pest resistance. We conclude that seed mixtures will make pest monitoring more difficult and that seed mixtures may make IRM riskier because of larval behavior and greater adoption of insecticidal corn. Conversely, block refuges present a different suite of risks because of adult pest behavior and the lower compliance with IRM rules expected from farmers. It is likely that secondary pests not targeted by the insecticidal corn as well as natural enemies will respond differently to block refuges and seed mixtures.

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This article is from Journal of Economic Entomology; 104 (2011); 343-352; doi: 10.1603/EC10388

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